Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226521015 Will Publish February 2018
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226520964 Will Publish February 2018
An e-book edition will be published.

Building the Prison State

Race and the Politics of Mass Incarceration

Heather Schoenfeld

Building the Prison State

Heather Schoenfeld

352 pages | 3 halftones, 13 line drawings, 4 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2018
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226521015 Will Publish February 2018
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226520964 Will Publish February 2018
E-book $35.00 ISBN: 9780226521152 Will Publish February 2018
The United States incarcerates more people per capital than any other industrialized nation in the world—about 1 in 100 adults, or more than 2 million people—while national spending on prisons has catapulted 400 percent. Given the vast racial disparities in incarceration, the prison system also reinforces race and class divisions. How and why did we become the world’s leading jailer? And what can we, as a society, do about it?
Reframing the story of mass incarceration, Heather Schoenfeld illustrates how the unfinished task of full equality for African Americans led to a series of policy choices that expanded the government’s power to punish, even as they were designed to protect individuals from arbitrary state violence. Examining civil rights protests, prison condition lawsuits, sentencing reforms, the War on Drugs, and the rise of conservative Tea Party politics, Schoenfeld explains why politicians veered from skepticism of prisons to an embrace of incarceration as the appropriate response to crime. To reduce the number of people behind bars, Schoenfeld argues that we must transform the political incentives for imprisonment and develop a new ideological basis for punishment.
Review Quotes
John Eason, Texas A&M University, author of Big House on the Prairie: Rise of the Rural Ghetto and Prison Proliferation
“Schoenfeld masterfully merges punishment and race theories to explain how state punitive policies and practices not only endure over time and space, but are dramatically expanded through carceral capacity—a state’s ability to punish by creating new criminal justice institutions. This is a must-read for anyone thinking deeply about the racial politics of criminal justice policy and potential solutions for prison reform.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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